The sad news is that the four situations listed below – could have been handled better from the very beginning. They had people who could do that for them. And some probably did have crisis management advisors. These are expensive lessons to learn for those experiencing the problems.
BP oil spill
Probably one of the largest corporate disasters of all time. The Deepwater Horizon incident left 11 people dead and spilled 206 million gallons of crude in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The share price after the BP Oil incident, plummeted in the first 30 days from $60 to $27. $100 billion of shareholder value was lost from the beginning until resolution.
The bad news didn’t stop there, $20 million of company funds had to be put in an account covering cleanup and replacement costs. For over 200 days, there was ongoing news coverage about this disaster and the company seemed to spend more time trying to hide from the public then confronting the problem and presenting solutions. Had they done so, it may have still cost them the same in short term dollars, but recovery could have been much faster.
Massey Mine Explosion
29 of the 31 miners in the mine at the time of the explosion died. It was the worst loss of life explosion in the mining industry for over 40 years. The cause was determined to be from Massey’s flagrant safety violations creating the situation for the coal dust explosion. Just after the explosion happened in the West Virginia mine, news crews arrived, phone calls between President Obama, state leaders, and humanitarian organizations like The Red Cross and The Salvation Army happened.
Yet families of the miners had to learn about it on television news reports. The lack of empathy was not helped when reports hit soon after that the company had received a number of fines for safety violations in the preceding years. The least a company should do in such difficult moments is take the time to consider the families of those whose lives may have already been lost and contact them so they don’t learn about it from news programming.
Various Clinton Scandals
We’re not going to outline all the missteps and bad crisis management choices made over the last two decades by Hillary and Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton seemed to allow many of those incidents to roll off his back while he retained more popularity than most believed possible for any other politician. The same does not appear to be true of issues with Hillary Clinton.
The Benghazi Embassy questions continue to follow her, and now the latest issues with her private email server for State Department work. She seems flustered when the press continues to raise the issue as if simply assuring people there is no problem can erase the questions. Are her PR people unaware of the problems, or is she ignoring what they suggest?
Internet Security Hacks
We hesitate to name just one agency or company on this one. There have been so many lately, and too many of them tried to keep the information hidden for too long. Information like that usually gets out eventually, and when it does, companies are left with angry and frustrated customers who feel they’ve been lied to as well as violated.
When a crisis happens, bring in experts as quickly as you can – it is impossible to think of all the things that need to be addressed when you are knee deep in sorting through the issues of the actual crisis